After the theft

Germany: new relic of St John Paul II donated to the cathedral of Cologne

The Cathedral of Cologne received a new relic of St John Paul II. To celebrate its 60th birthday, cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Cracow, donated to the archbishop of Cologne, cardinal Rainer Woelki, a relic of the blood of the Holy Pope, to be kept in the cathedral of the German city. In early June, the other relic had been stolen by some unknown sacrilegious robbers. “This is truly an extraordinary gift”, the priest of the cathedral, monsignor Gerd Bachner, said. The pain for the loss of the other relic has not gone yet, but “it has been slightly soothed” by the new gift. The entire Chapter of the Cathedral is grateful to cardinal Dziwisz who thus wanted to heal the wound inflicted to all of the church of Cologne. In early June, some unknown people had stolen the other reliquary by breaking the safety glass that protected the ampulla with John Paul II’s blood. The Chapter offered 1,500 euros as a reward for returning the worshipped item, but so far both the police and the priest, Bachner, have lost all hope of ever finding it again. It will take time before the new relic can be displayed to the congregation: a new reliquary shall first be made by Düsseldorf-born sculptor Bert Gerresheim, then, in a solemn ceremony, archbishop Woelki will officially receive the new remain of John Paul II from cardinal Dziwisz’s hands.